I used to make French toast at least once a week. As a meal for two or three people, it’s very fast and easy, and there are always remains of challah and the ends of bread loaves floating around my freezer. Got milk and eggs? Got supper. Recently, however, the French toast has gone the way of the pancakes I used to make more often. I simply cannot get them out of the frying pan fast enough for my kids. Regular French toast means at least a half hour of running between the frying pan and the table, the frying pan and the milk, the frying pan and a pile of napkins. I needed a
lazier faster, more efficient way to make French toast. A few weeks ago, after hearing about a savory bread pudding, I threw together this dairy bread pudding, which is basically baked French toast. Any sweet or savory add-ins are optional.
I’ve seen many recipes for French toast casseroles that includes layers or sweet syrups. If that what you’re looking for, this recipe is not it. This is about as simple as it gets, but it was still good enough to be the recipe that got my daughter to say, “Did you use a new recipe or make one up?”
“I made it up.”
“It’s so yummy. You should stop using recipes and always make up your own.”
I understood this to mean supper was successful.
Why is this casserole better than individual slices of French toast, other than less prep time? The outside gets a golden crust, while the thick inside stays soft and moist. Next time you’re trying to use up extra bread, try this, and you may never go back to pan-fried French toast.
French Toast Casserole Recipe
One loaf worth of assorted bread parts
2-3 cups milk (or non-dairy alternative, such as soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
Optional sweet add-ins: chopped apples, raisins, nuts, maple syrup, brown sugar
Optional savory add-ins: fried onions, sauteed celery, shredded cheese, canned corn, chopped spinach, fresh herbs
- Tear bread into bite-sized pieces. Put into big bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk (can be with a fork; you don’t actually need a whisk) eggs, then add 2 cups milk, salt, vanilla, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Pour egg mixture over torn bread to coat it and let soak for about 5 minutes. If the bread is not all moistened, add more milk and mix. In any case, mix. You do not need the pieces of bread to remain distinct. It is good if they mingle and merge.
- Coat casserole dish with cooking spray and dusted with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Pour bread mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle another 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon on top
- Bake at 350F/180C for about 45 minutes, until golden brown.